Romantic comedy films (abbreviated as “romcoms”) are films with light-hearted, humorous plotlines, centered on romantic ideals such as a true love able to surmount most obstacles. The basic plot of a romantic comedy is that two protagonists, usually a man and a woman, meet, part ways due to an argument or other obstacle, then ultimately reunite. Sometimes the two protagonists meet and become involved initially, then must confront challenges to their union. Sometimes the two protagonists are hesitant to become romantically involved because they believe that they do not like each other, because one of them already has a partner, or because of social pressures. However, the screenwriters leave clues that suggest that the characters are, in fact, attracted to each other and that they would be a good love match. The protagonists often separate or seek time apart to sort out their feelings or deal with the external obstacles to their being together. While the two protagonists are separated, one or both of them usually realizes that they are ideal for each other, or that they are in love with each other. Then, after one of the two makes some spectacular effort to find the other person and declare their love, (this is sometimes called the grand gesture), or due to an astonishing coincidental encounter, the two meet again. Then, perhaps with some comic friction or awkwardness, they declare their love for each other and the film ends happily. The couple does not, however, have to marry, or live together “happily ever after”. The ending of a romantic comedy is meant to affirm the primary importance of the love relationship in its protagonists’ lives, even if they physically separate in the end.
I guess this preamble about romcoms comes out of my fear of being judged for liking some of them. But who cares what anyone else things right? If it wasn’t for romcoms what the hell would we do to bounce back from a hangover? I plan on getting trashed on January 20, 2011 so I can enjoy Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher in “No Strings Attached” on January 21: